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Monday, June 16, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated May 21, in which the Pope appoints Cardinal Jozef Tomko as his special envoy to a ceremony in which relics of bishop and martyr, Blessed Teodor Romzha, will be moved from Budapest to the cathedral church of Uzhorod, Ukraine. The ceremony will take place in Uzhorod on June 28.

The following people will accompany Cardinal Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses: Msgr. Tymon Tytys Chmielecki, secretary of the nunciature in Kiev, Fr. Pavlo Sabov, pastor of parishes in the district of Uzhorod, Strypa and Jarok, and Fr. Andrij Vaskov, who serves in the cathedral of Uzhorod.



VATICAN CITY, JUN 14, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Holy Father welcomed 8,000 children of the Pontifical Work of the Holy Childhood, which this year is celebrating the 160th anniversary of its founding by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson of Nancy, France. Accompanying them were priests and animators as well as Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The Pontifical Work of the Holy Childhood is one of the four branches of the Pontifical Missionary Works and is, in the Pope's words, "children helping children." It assists more than one billion children worldwide - of whom about 300,000 are Catholic - in its principal activities of missionary formation, animation, organization and cooperation. The other missionary works are Propagation of the Faith, St. Peter Apostle and the Pontifical Missionary Union.

Pope John Paul, in his talk to the young people today, remarked that "in your hearts and on your lips God put three little words, 'here I am', which are so important in the Bible. The Son of God said them when He came into the world and His entire life was an immediate response of 'here I am' to the heavenly Father. The Virgin Mary also said 'here I am' when she welcomed the announcement from God. ... You too, my dear little missionaries, must also learn to answer 'here I am'.

He added that "it is beautiful to think of the Pontifical Work of the Holy Childhood as an immense chorus, formed by children from throughout the world, who together sing their 'here I am' to God with their prayers, their enthusiasm and their concrete commitment!"

John Paul II noted that "there have been great and profound changes in mankind" since the pontifical work was founded. "In the so-called 'north' of the world, the living conditions for infants have improved, but economic and social development has not always been accompanied by human development in its fullest sense. A loss of values has been noted and those who pay the highest price are often the smallest ones, without mentioning that even in developed nations there are areas of great poverty."

The Pope added that "in the 'south' of the planet, the cry of millions of children who are condemned to die by hunger and illness linked to poverty, has become more heart-rending and it calls out to everyone."

"Dear children of the Holy Childhood," he concluded, "you are the first to answer this appeal. You form a chain of human solidarity across five continents and offer the possibility to even the poorest to 'give' and to the richest 'to receive' thorough giving."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 16, 2003 (VIS) - Today at midday in the Clemetine Hall, the Holy Father received participants in the General Chapter of the Friars Minor which is taking place in Assisi, Italy from May 25 to June 21 with Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, the new minister general.

John Paul II said that at the beginning of the third millennium the "new evangelization" is very necessary: "This missionary commitment will be fruitful," he assured, "according to the measure in which it is carried out in line with the legitimite pastors, to whom the Lord has entrusted the responsibility of His flock. In this regard, I note the efforts made to overcome difficulties that have existed for some time in certain territories. I truly hope that, thanks to everyone's contribution, full understanding with diocesan authority is achieved as my venerable predecessor Pope Paul VI urged, and that it is found to be indispensable for the effective work of evangelization."

"Be holy!" exclaimed the Holy Father. "It is a real pastoral necessity for our times. In order to help others to find God above everything else, it is necessary that you, dear Brothers, be the first to commit yourself to this arduous personal asceticism and community, finding in your rule and your constitutions, 'an itinerary to follow, characterized by a specific charism recognized by the Church'."

The Pope expressed the desire that the work of the chapter "may contribute to the growth of that spirit of humble obedience to God and filial adhesion to the directives of the pastors of the Church that must distinguish the Friars Minor. May St. Francis and the saints who protect your Order accompany you!"

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2003 (VIS) - After reciting the Angelus at noon with the faithful in St. Peter's Square, John Paul II pointed out that "once again these have been days of blood and death for the people of the Holy Land, who have entered an endless spiral of violence and reprisals."

Repeating an appeal he has issued many times in the past, the Pope said: "There is no peace without justice and no justice without pardon. I remind you of this today with growing conviction, addressing all the inhabitants of the Holy Land. I also exhort the international community to never tire of helping Israelis and Palestinians to rediscover the meaning of man and of fraternity in order to weave together their future."

The Holy Father then greeted the faithful in several languages, and reminded everyone that "at 7 p.m. this coming Thursday, the solemnity of Corpus Christi, I will preside over Mass in front of St. John Lateran Basilica, following which there will be the traditional procession to St. Mary Major. I invite everyone to participate in this celebration in great numbers, to express together the faith in Christ, living and present in the Eucharist."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 15, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father, from his study window overlooking St. Peter's Square, addressed the faithful who had assembled there for the noon Angelus, reminding them of the celebration today of Trinity Sunday and of the forthcoming World Day of Refugees.

He noted that "the unity and the trinity of God is the first mystery of the Catholic faith. We reach this at the end of the entire path of revelation, which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, in His incarnation, passion, death and resurrection. From the summit of the 'holy mountain', which is Christ, we contemplate the first and last horizon of the universe and of history: the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

"God is not solitude, but perfect communion. From being God communion derives the vocation of all of mankind to form one great family, in which different races and cultures meet and enrich each other reciprocally."

Pope John Paul then turned to the celebration this coming Friday, June 20, of the World Day of Refugees. He said that in the light of communion "every situation in which persons or groups of people are forced to flee their own land to seek refugee elsewhere is a serious offense against God and all men."

He underscored that "in the world nearly half of all refugees are children and young people. Many of them do not attend school, they lack basic goods, they live in refugee camps or even in detention." The Pope then called on "the international community to commit itself to taking care of not only the symptoms but above all the causes of the problem: that is, to prevent conflicts by promoting justice and solidarity in every sphere of the human family."

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 16, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, study assistant of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, as bureau chief for Islam of the same dicastery.

- Msgr. Robert Zollitsch, canon of the Metropolitan Chapter of Freiburg, Germany and director of the department for personnel in the archdiocesan Curia, as metropolitan archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau (area 16,229, population 4,600,000, Catholics 2,124,834, priests 1325, permanent deacons 185, religious 2,610), Germany. The archbishop-elect was born in 1938 in Filipovo, Croatia and was ordained a priest in 1965.

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VATICAN CITY, JUN 16, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, apostolic nuncio to the European Community.

- Archbishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio in Canada.

- Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, apostolic nuncio in Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen and apostolic delegate on the Arabian Peninsula.

- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, coadjutor of Dublin, Ireland.

On Saturday June 14, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Four prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Jean-Baptiste Some of Diebougou.

- Bishop Zephyrin Toe of Dedougou.

- Bishop Basile Tapsoba of Koudougou.

- Bishop Paul Ouedraogo of Fada N'Gourma.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

- Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

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